My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Gasper Christopher Clemens, who occupies a leading position as a member of the Topeka bar, is a notable example of the self-made man. He was born April 23, 1849, at Xenia, Ohio, and is a son of William E. and Eliza J. (Barnes) Clemens.

The father of Mr. Clemens was born in Virginia, and the mother in Kentucky, the latter being a daughter of Henry Barnes, who was a lieutenant of dragoons in the War of 1812. William E. Barnes was a pioneer in Ohio, where he was first a farmer and latterly a merchant. Both he and wife were active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Family misfortunes brought about conditions which threw life’s responsibilities upon our subject when he was a lad of 13 years. With only a rudimentary education, but with a far-reaching purpose to attain success, the child took up his burden, working at first as a laborer in a brick-yard during the day time and spending his evenings in study. He thus mastered the English common branches, unaided and alone and, still ambitious, secured for himself an enviable classical education.

In 1886 he began teaching a country school and in the following year took up the study of the law, providing for his necessities by continued teaching, and on January 5, 1869, he was admitted to practice by the Superior Court of Ohio. He practiced in his native city for a period of 14 months, but March, 1870, found him established at Topeka. Here he at once entered upon a successful and lucrative practice which he has maintained and increased up to the present time. That all of his energies have not been devoted to the practice of his profession was demonstrated by the issuance of a valuable work published in 1877, which is entitled “Corporate Securities,” the only work on that subject extant. It has been most favorably received by the best law authorities of the country and has met with a heavy sale. It was favorably reviewed by law publications, meeting hearty commendation from the American Law Review and the Chicago Legal News, the standard journals of law.

Mr. Clemens has not sought political favor, his tastes being literary and professional. The deep scholarship which he possesses he has secured by his own efforts, but in addition to this he combines the practical qualities and the professional ability which have brought him ample success and a large measure of public esteem.

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This family biography is one of 206 biographies included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  For the complete description, click here: Shawnee County, Kansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Shawnee County, Kansas family biographies here: Shawnee County, Kansas

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